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Heist of Picasso drawings in Paris

Valued at between seven and 10 million euros, the sketchbook, which contained some 30 drawings, went missing. The heist was made without causing any damage to the museum.

art and culture Updated: Jun 10, 2009 19:25 IST

A sketchbook containing drawings by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso has been stolen from the Picasso Museum in Paris, the police said.

The sketchbook, which contained some 30 drawings and valued at between seven and 10 million euros ($9.8-$14 million), was stolen either on Monday or Tuesday when the museum was closed to general public, the police said.

The heist was made without causing any damage to the museum, which is located in a 17th century baroque palace. Museum workers discovered the theft when they were making an inventory.

The sketchbook was seen on Monday in the glass case in which it is displayed but on Tuesday it was not there, said the police.

According to France's culture ministry, the sketchbook contained 33 drawings collected in a 16x24 centimeter (6.3x9.5 inches) format and its cover has the inscription "Album" in gilded letters.

The Picasso Museum is being remodelled and so the most important works housed there have been loaned to other institutions with the twofold aim of facilitating the refurbishing work and financing it.

This is the latest robbery of works by the Malaga-born painter and follows one in February 2007 when thieves removed from the Paris home of Diana Widmaier-Picasso, a granddaughter of the artist, two of his works valued at some 50 million euros ($70 million).

First Published: Jun 10, 2009 19:09 IST